Jersey's 'untenable' MRI scan waiting times reduced from over a year to seven weeks

Having both of the hospital's MRI scanners running at the same time has allowed waiting times to dramatically reduce. Credit: ITV Channel

Patients waiting for an MRI scan in Jersey could be seen quicker than they originally thought.

Waiting times have been reduced from 54 weeks to seven in the space of three months.

It has been achieved by the General Hospital running both of its MRI scanners at the same time since September.

Until then, the second machine had been used as a backup, but extra funding was made available to allow them both to operate at once.

Three locum staff have been hired from the UK to help get the second machine operational and patients have also been seen during extra hours throughout the week and weekends.

Consultant Radiologist, Dr Salman Zaman, said: "This was an untenable situation. It posed a risk to patient safety because patients should not have to wait that long.

"The demand for this complex imaging is rising exponentially. Here in Jersey, we've had a year-on-year rise of 7%."

Dr Salman Zaman says no patient should have to wait more than a year for an MRI scan. Credit: ITV Channel

Having both scanners working at an increased capacity has meant patients receiving quicker treatment, with the waiting list for those opting to go private expected to reach zero by Christmas.

Health staff have now requested for at least one of the scanners to run 24 hours a day from 2024.

When asked what is being done to ensure waiting times do not rise to the same level again, Dr Zaman hopes the recent project's success has done enough to prove extra funding is needed.

He added that having both MRI machines running at this capacity on a long-term basis was "unsustainable" but he would like to see new permanent staffing in 2024 to help "bolster the radiology team".

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